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JTG Daugherty Unveils 2012 Plans

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 23 2011

Bobby Labonte will remain with JTG Daugherty. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

RacinToday.com

In Racin’ News today, Sunday, Oct. 23:

JTG Daugherty Racing owners Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty unveiled their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series plans for the 2012 season at a press conference at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

Driving for JTG Daugherty Racing again next season will be 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte.

“I like the plan that this team has in place and if you look at the choices I’ve made throughout my career, you can tell that I have always enjoyed the challenge of building up a team,” Labonte said. “We have some people with proven success coming to work with us and we plan to capitalize on that along with the technical resources of Toyota. We’ve had some limited success this year and we are focused on improving and continuing to build our program. I am looking forward to a successful 2012.”

Todd Berrier has been named as crew chief and general manager of the JTG Daugherty Racing operation. Berrier spent nearly two decades as a crew chief at Richard Childress Racing and led his team into the Chase for the Sprint Cup four times. Along the way, he won several races. Notable wins as crew chief, include the 2007 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and the 2003 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with driver Kevin Harvick.

“Todd Berrier is a winner, pure and simple,” Daugherty said. “He is innovative, an effective communicator, great with race cars and knows how to use the resources available to him to optimize performance. We are confident that he is the right individual to lead our race team into the future.”

“I’m looking forward to this new opportunity with JTG Daugherty Racing and working with Bobby.” said Berrier, who mentioned he has 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins as a crew chief, not counting non-points races he has won.

Frank Kerr, who has performed crew chief duties for JTG Daugherty Racing during the last four seasons will take on a new role as shop foreman.

“Most people do not realize how much of a team’s success is based on the preparation that goes on at the shop,” said Tad Geschickter. “We appreciate Frankie’s dedication and know that without his efforts we would not be standing here today. He will do a great job ensuring that our processes and preparation at the shop are flawless.”

Toyota and TRD USA (Toyota Racing Development) will continue to support the No. 47 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry as the team returns to the Harrisburg, N.C. race shop for their base of race operations.

“Toyota has been a great partner to us in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series,” stated Tad Geschickter. “They provide tremendous resources through TRD’s chassis engineering group in Salisbury, N.C. and we intend to fully utilize the tools that they provide to improve our performance as we move forward in 2012 and beyond.”

Laerte Zatta, formerly of TRD, will be the team’s director of engineering.

“Laerte helped build the infrastructure and tools at TRD’s Salisbury facility and has had tremendous success in making the Toyota teams he has assisted become winners,” Jodi Geschickter said. “He also has a wealth of knowledge with electronic fuel injection (EFI) from his days in open wheel racing. We are fortunate to have Laerte come on board and help us maximize our use of the resources that TRD will provide to make our team more successful.”

In addition to the personnel and structural changes in store for 2012, JTG Daugherty Racing continues to stay ahead of the industry on sponsorship procurement and retention.

MotoGP competitor Marco Simoncelli died from injuries suffered in the Grand Prix of Malaysia on Sunday.

A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus on the death read:

“We are deeply saddened at the passing of Marco Simoncelli. He was one of the most charismatic figures in the World Championship and had a fantastic future ahead of him in MotoGP. Marco was one of the most popular riders at the MotoGP event at Indianapolis, as his talent on the motorcycle and his ability to connect with fans both were very special. We extend our sincere sympathies to his family, team and fans.”

Simoncelli, 24, from Italy, competed twice in the MotoGP class at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finishing seventh in 2010 and 12th in 2011. He won the 250cc race in 2009 at IMS. Simoncelli was the 2008 250cc World Champion.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, October 23 2011
One Comment

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  • Terry says:

    I grew up just down the highway from the BUSH’s plant. I grew up eating their products along with
    Clorox Kingsford Glad in our home…..
    I will not support #47 or buy the products. I am embarrased that Knoxville was ever associated with JTG. We were alway’s proud of seeing EAST TENN FORD MTRS…….down the rear fenders on winning cars.
    Seeing KINGSFORD ( a company founded right out of the FORD plant )
    on the hood of a Toyota……is almost a sin……
    JTG drive American…..Tokyo doesn’t eat Bush’s beans…..